Vulture As soon as the market breaks up, the vulture begins to drink up the blood. (Hausan) The vulture does not come here for no reason. (Unknown) Where the carcass is, there shall the vultures be gathered. (English) Why do people find fault with the vulture, which eats not sown seeds? (Hausan)

Wade Do not wade where you see no bottom. (Danish)

Wage, Wages Good wages, good work. (German) He cannot lead a good life who serves without wages. (Italian)

Wager A wager is a fool’s argument. (Scottish) Don’t bet more than you can afford to lose. (Spanish)

Wagon A loaded wagon creaks; an empty one rattles. (German)

Wait, Waiting All things come to those who wait. (English) For a good dinner and a gentle wife you can afford to wait. (Danish) He who can wait obtains what he wishes. (Italian) He who waits for another’s platter has a cold meal. (Catalan) He who waits for dead men’s shoes, may have to go long barefoot. (Danish) He who waits till an opportunity occurs may wait forever. (Roman) If he waits long enough the world will be his own. (Dutch) One who is waiting thinks the time long. (Irish) The waiting is the hardest part. (American) Tide and time wait for no man. (Roman) Time and tide wait for no one. (Irish) To one who waits, a moment seems a year. (Chinese) You never wait too long, when you wait for something good. (Swedish)

Walk, Walking Better to walk alone than to walk in bad company. (Mexican) Better to walk before a hen than behind an ox. (French) He that walks straight will not stumble. (Yiddish) He that walks too hastily, often stumbles in plain way. (French) If you let everyone walk over you, you become a carpet. (Bulgarian) If you take big paces you leave big spaces. (Burmese) Learn to walk before you run. (American) One step at a time is good walking. (Chinese) The one who does not yet know how to walk cannot climb a ladder. (Ethiopian) Tiger and deer do not walk together. (Chinese) Walk softly and carry a big stick. (Roman) We do not walk on our legs, but on our will. (Turkish)

Wall, Walls A wall is made of stones both large and small. (Irish) A white wall is the fool’s paper. (Italian) Better to plaster an old wall than build a new one. (Hausan) Do not tear down the east wall to repair the west. (Chinese) Hard and hard do not make a wall [i.e., brick against brick, without mortar]. (Roman) If you see a high wall leaning toward you, run from under it. (Egyptian) One family builds a wall, two families enjoy it. (Chinese) Walls have mice and mice have ears. (Persian) Walls sink and dunghills rise. (Spanish) You have not built a wall until your have rounded the corner. (Irish)

Walnuts Among walnuts only the empty one speaks. (Moroccan)

Want, Wants A man who wants bread is ready for anything. (French) Always to be sparing is always to be in want. (Danish) Bad is want which is born of plenty. (Roman) For want of a nail the shoe is lost; for want of a shoe, the horse is lost; for want of a horse

the rider is lost. (Poor Richard) God’s beloved are in want of nothing. (Roman) He is nearest to God who has the fewest wants. (Danish) Mills and wives are ever wanting. (German) The more men have, the more they want. (Roman) The more one has, the more one wants. (Spanish) Those who long for much are in want of much. (Roman) Want is the whetstone of wit. (English) Want makes strife ’tween husband and wife. (English) Want makes wit. (English) We are born naked, and soon we want everything. (Spanish)

We lessen our wants by lessening our desires. (Roman) When want comes in at the door, love flies out at the window. (Dutch) Women and wine, game and deceit, make the wealth small, and the wants great. (Poor


War A dead man does not make war. (Italian) A headless army fights badly. (Danish) A petty war may lead to a great upheaval. (Yiddish) Advantage is a better soldier than rashness. (English) After donning the helmet, it is too late to repent of war. (Roman) An old horse for a young soldier. (Italian) At the wars as they do at the wars. (French) Both soldier and surgeon pray for war. (German) Councils of war never fight. (German) Equal parties do not start wars. (German) Even war has its laws. (Roman) Every bullet has its billet. (English) God is on the side of the strongest battalions. (French) Had it not been for the horse, I would have gladly gone to war. (Hausan) He who has a handsome wife, a castle on the frontier, or a vineyard on the roadside, is

never without war. (Spanish) He who has land has war. (Spanish) If there is a strong general there will be no weak soldiers. (Chinese) In a moment comes either sudden death or joyful victory. (Roman) In time of war, the Devil makes more room in Hell. (German) In time of war, the laws are silent. (Roman) In time of war, there is pay for every horse. (Italian) It becomes a wise man to try all methods before having recourse to arms. (Roman) It is not permitted to err twice in war. (Roman) Leave war to others. (Roman) Let him who does not know what war is go to war. (Chinese) Many return from the war who cannot give an account of the battle. (Italian) Money is the sinews of war. (Dutch) No war is more bitter than a war of friends – but it does not last long. (Irish) Not all who go to war are soldiers. (Spanish) Of war all can prattle, away from the battle. (German) Soldiers and surgeons pray for war. (German) Stratagem is better than brute force. (African) The battlefield judges justly. (Irish) The conquered dare not open their mouths. (Roman) The conqueror weeps, the conquered is ruined. (Roman) The conquerors are kings, the conquered bandits. (Chinese) The fear of war is worse than war itself. (Italian) The fidelity of barbarians depends on fortune. (Roman)

The fires of war have often been kindled by one word. (Egyptian) The results of war are uncertain. (Roman) To win a war quickly takes long preparation. (Roman) Truth is the first casualty of war. (American) Under a great general there is no feeble soldier. (Korean) War appears pleasant to those who have never experienced it. (Roman) War begun, Hell unchained. (Italian) War brings scars. (German) War ends nothing. (African) War gives no opportunity for repeating a mistake. (Italian) War is always easy to start, but very hard to end. (Roman) War is death’s feast. (English) War is delightful to the inexperienced. (Italian) War is hell. (American) War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military. (French) War is pleasant to those who have never tried it. (German) War is sweet to him who does not go to it. (Portuguese) War ought neither to be dreaded nor provoked. (Roman) Wars are fought by the young, not by the old. (Yoruban) When the general falls, the army flees. (Irish)

War and Peace A bad peace is better than a good war. (Russian) An unhappy peace may be profitably exchanged for war. (Roman) He comes with incense in one hand, in the other a spear. (Chinese) He that keeps not his arms in time of peace will have none in time of war. (Irish) He who sweats more in peace, bleeds less in war. (Italian) I prefer the most unjust peace to the most just war. (Roman) If we wish to enjoy peace, prepare for war; if we shrink from war, we shall never enjoy

peace. (Roman) If you want peace, prepare for war. (Roman) In peace they are lions, in battle they are deer. (Roman) In times of peace we should think of war. (Roman) Let arms yield to the toga, laurels to paeans. (Roman) No ruler can be so confident of peace as not to prepare for war. (Roman) Peace feeds, war wastes; peace breeds, war consumes. (Danish) Peace with a cudgel in hand is war. (Portuguese) Scarcely is there any peace so unjust that it is better than even the fairest war. (German) The same laws hold for peace as for war. (Roman) War at the beginning is better than peace at the end. (Persian) War makes thieves, and peace hangs them. (French) War with all the world, and peace with England. (Spanish) Water in peace is better than wine in war. (German) You need only a show of war to have peace. (Roman)

Wares Rare commodities are worth more than good ones. (Chinese)

Warm He that is warm thinks all so. (English) Some who mean only to warm, burn themselves. (French) The head and feet keep warm, the rest will take no harm. (English) A cold hand, a warm heart. (German)

Warning A shipwreck on the beach is a lighthouse to the sea. (Dutch) Happy he who can take warning from the mishaps of others. (Danish) He was slain that had warning, not he that took it. (French) Others’ dangers are our warnings. (Roman)

Warp and Woof Neither laughter nor reproof can change the world’s warp and woof. (Yiddish)

Wash, Washes Do not wash your dirty linens in public. (French) It will all come out in the wash. (Spanish) One hand washes the other. (Roman) One hand washes the other, and both the face. (Spanish) When both hands wash each other, they will be clean. (Yoruban)

Wasp Don’t pick a wasp out of a cream-jug. (Yiddish) The wasp makes not honey. (Turkish) Wasps haunt the honey pot. (English)

Waste Better to burst the belly than spoil good food. (Dutch) Don’t waste good iron for nails or good men for soldiers. (Chinese) Don’t waste too many stones on one bird. (Chinese) He who has money to throw away, let him employ workmen, and not stand by. (Italian) Though you live near a forest, do not waste your firewood. (Chinese) Waste makes want. (Indian) Waste not, want not. (English) Willful waste makes woeful want. (Scottish)

Watch A dog cannot watch two gates. (English) A girl, a vineyard, an orchard, and a cornfield, are hard to watch. (Portuguese) It takes little effort to watch a man carry a load. (Chinese) To him who watches, everything reveals itself. (Italian)

Watch even the road that is known to you. (Korean) Watch the faces of those who bow low. (Polish) Who watches not catches not. (Dutch)

Water, Waters A drop of water breaks a stone. (Italian) All water runs to the sea. (Italian) As the water flows, so is the dam raised. (Burmese) Cast your bread upon the waters, and it will return to you. (the Bible) Dirty water does not wash clean. (Italian) Dirty water will quench fire. (Italian) Don’t cast out the old water until you have the clean water in. (Irish) Don’t cross the water unless you see the bottom. (Italian) Dripping water makes the rock hollow, not by its force but by constant action. (Roman) Each draws water to his own mill. (Irish) Even water gets stale if it stays in one place. (Albanian) Far water cannot quench near fire. (Japanese) Foul water will quench fire. (English) He knows the water best who has waded through it. (Danish) He who would have clear water should go to the fountain head. (Italian) If you want clear water, draw it from the spring. (Portuguese) In calm water every ship has a good captain. (French) Let God’s waters run over God’s acres. (Dutch) Let water flow that you do not intend to drink. (Mexican) Much water passes by the mill that the miller perceives not. (Italian) Rippling water shows lack of depth. (Indonesian) Silent water is dangerous water. (Spanish) Soft water constantly striking the hard stone wears it at last. (Portuguese) Spilt water can never be gathered up again. (Chinese) Still water breeds vermin. (Italian) Still waters become stagnant. (Persian) Still waters run deep. (Roman) Stolen waters are the sweetest. (Roman) Store water while it rains. (Burmese) The water runs while the miller sleeps. (Danish) The water that bears the ship is the same that engulfs it. (Chinese) The water that does not flow is not fit to drink. (Albanian) There is no worse water than still water. (French) Water always finds its own level. (Hausan) Water can support a ship, and water can upset it. (Chinese) Water comes where water has been. (Swedish) Water does not get bitter without a cause. (Hausan) Water does not rise above its source. (Filipino) Water does not run uphill. (Jamaican) Water flows to low ground. (Burmese)

Water is not drunk from the gourd that dug the well. (Hausan) Water is the strongest drink: it drives mills. (German) Water poured on the head goes down to the heels. (Korean) Water washes everything. (Portuguese) Waters have their source; trees their roots. (Chinese) Waves will rise on silent water. (Irish) What water gives, water takes away. (Portuguese) When fire and water are at war, it is the fire that loses. (Spanish) When water covers the head, a hundred fathoms are as one. (Persian) When you drink water, think of its source. (Chinese) Whenever the water rises, the boat will rise too. (Chinese) Where the water recedes, there is a crocodile. (African) Where water has been, water will come again. (German) You don’t miss the water until the well runs dry. (Jamaican)

Wax Wax will show the quality of the gold. (Burmese)

Wax and Wane Wax and wane is the world’s way. (Japanese)

Way Each to his own way. (German) He knows the way best who went there last. (Norwegian) It is often better to go the circuitous way than the direct one. (Roman) Many will show you the way once your cart has overturned. (Kurdish) The longest way round is the shortest way home. (English) The Russian knows the way, yet he asks for directions. (German) The smoothest way is full of stones. (Yiddish) The way to Heaven is not strewn with roses. (Spanish)

Weak, Weakest A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. (Roman) The strong prey upon the weak. (Japanese) The weakest goes to the wall. (English) The weakest must hold the candle. (French)

Wealth, Wealthy A heavy purse makes a light heart. (Yiddish) A man with wealth will always get a servant. (African) A man’s wealth is his enemy. (English) A wealthy man can err with impunity. (Roman) A wealthy man who was once a pauper has a heart as hard as copper. (Spanish) All claim kindred with the prosperous. (Roman) By labor comes wealth. (Yoruban)

Command your wealth, else it will command you. (Spanish) Great wealth is from Heaven; little wealth from diligence. (Chinese) Great wealth, great care. (Dutch) He is most loved in the world who hath the most bags. (Dutch) He most enjoys wealth who least desires wealth. (Roman) He should possess wealth, who knows how to use it. (Roman) He who is not stingy is not wealthy. (Chinese) If worldly goods cannot save me from death, they ought not to hinder me of eternal life.